ぎぼうしに胡銀鳥 (初夏) [sic]

giboushi ni koginchou (shoka)

Hosta and Chestnut-breasted Mannikin (Early Summer)

ギボウシにシマコキン (初夏)


Original Number

72


ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR THIS DESIGN
Currently Documented Edition Signature and Seal Markings:
Edition I: 楽山居 Raku-zan Kyo + Seal A

[For illustration of seals listed by seal code letter, see the Seals article. For edition characteristics applicable to this series as a whole, see the Edition article.]

Design History:
This woodblock print was produced from an original painting on silk dating from the late 1920s whose current location is unknown. The indentification of this design as number 72 is original to Rakusan who published the print as the 72nd design in his series of one hundred woodblock prints called 楽山花鳥畫譜, Rakuzan Kachou Gafu, lit. 'Rakusan's Flower and Bird Print Series'. Initial edition I publication of 72 was in April 1932 (or perhaps slightly later) in installment thirty-six (of fifty). Because this design appeared late in the series, 72 may not have been reprinted before the series completion in 1933, and only the initial print run of about 200 copies comprises edition I. The copy illustrated here is typical of edition I. No later edition printings of 72 are currently known.

About the time 72 was being prepared, Rakusan apparently had trouble communicating his designs to whomever was to carve the blocks. Several designs from this period show significant areas which were either not inked, or inked in the incorrect colors. In the lower right corner of 72 there are five such areas, two of them quite large, where the background color was not fully printed.

Copies in Public Collections:
Edition I: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, USA; (1951) 51.2484 [not illustrated online].

Species Illustrated:
Hosta (Plantain Lily, Stone-leek, Giboshi), Hosta spp., 擬宝珠, ぎぼうし, ギボウシ, giboushi, lit. 'imitation leek' is a decorative shade-loving garden plant. It has been bred into many hybrids and cultivars including complex leaf variegations, and is today commonly planted in many countries. Plants in the West derive largely from Japanese horticultural stock although several forms are native to Japan. Most parts of the plant are edible and it also figures in Japanese cuisine. (擬宝珠 can also be read ぎぼうしゅ, giboushu.)

Chestnut-breasted Munia/Mannikin/Finch, Lonchura castaneothorax, is today called 縞胡錦, しまこきん, シマコキン, shima-ko-kin, lit. 'striped foreign brocade'. It is a small finch native to New Guinea and northern Australia which is commonly bred for the pet trade. Rakusan would have seen these exotic birds only as cage or aviary specimens.

Rakusan instead used a different name for this species, 胡錦鳥, こぎんちょう, コキンチョウ, ko-kin-chou, lit. 'foreign brocade-bird'. However, this is actually a species-particular name for Gouldian Finch, Erythrura (Chloebia) gouldiae. Rakusan correctly used this name for that species in the title-caption for design number 75 in this series. Apparently, Rakusan misinterpreted that name as a more general name for any small, colorful finch.


Related Designs:
Other designs with other kinds of munias or mannikins:
38